Whether you are a betting person or not, lets not bet on our health. It is around this time every year, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) releases the “Five Amazingly Unhealthy Super Bowl Fast Foods.” It can be a fun topic of conversation with our family and friends as we guzzle down our light beer and pound our slider hamburgers as though every bite seems to help the team we bet on. The reality of it is, the Super Bowl is just another excuse every year to eat poorly. On average, Americans gain about 1 pound between November and February (Yanovski JA, Yanovski SZ, Sovik KN, et al, 2000). You might say, “It’s only one pound,” but the problem is the weight does not go away. Most of us chalk it up to the inherent collateral damage of the holidays. After 10 years and 10 pounds, we still tell ourselves “it’s only 10 pounds.” How does it stop? With a lemon and cayenne pepper “cleansing crash diet?” With a diagnosis of diabetes or high cholesterol? Or even worse, with your first heart surgery?
It is the small choices we make along the endless path of parties and reasons to celebrate throughout the year and the moderation of the not-so-healthy foods that will help us enjoy a healthy and tasty life. Yes, healthy can be delicious. Here is the unhealthy list from the PCRM and some healthier-yet-still-delicious comparisons that will quench the party palette, but not make you bigger than an offensive lineman.
|Type of Food||Unhealthy||Nutrition Comparison||Healthy||Calories Saved|
|Sub Sandwich||Quiznos- Large Classic Italian Sub||1190 kcal, 68 g/fat, 3550 mg Na||400 kcal, 9 g/fat, 1280 mg Na||Grilled Vegetable Sub
|Chicken Wings||Pizza Hut- Crispy Bone-In Garlic Parmesan Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce||2 wings and
2 Tbsp dipping sauce
|Unbelievable Buffalo Wings
with Light Ranch Dressing (omit salt from recipe)
|530 kcal, 49 g/fat, 1150 mg Na||280 kcal, 21 g/fat, 990 mg Na|
|Pizza||Papa John’s- The Meats Pizza for One||960 kcal, 44 g/fat, 2760 mg Na||500 kcal, 28 g/fat, 1480 mg Na||Grilled Vegetable Pizza (2 slices)||460|
|Nacho’s||Taco Bell- Volcano Nachos||980 kcal, 60 g/fat, 1590 mg Na||290 kcal, 9 g/fat, 960 mg Na||Pita Nachos (see below)||690|
|Soup/Chili||Panera- New England Clam Chowder||630 kcal, 54 g/fat, 890 mg Na||394 kcal, 11.5 g/fat, 534 mg Na||Chicken Corn Chowder
4 servings of Multi-grain pita chips (I use Stacy’s)
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
½ cups low fat shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup chunky salsa
¼ cup avocado mashed to dip or cubed on the side
- Place pita chips on a microwave safe plate.
- Evenly sprinkle black beans on chips.
- Sprinkle cheese over-top of bean and chips.
- Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Just enough to melt cheese.
- Serve aside chunky salsa and fresh avocado for healthy fat and flavor.
Grilled Vegetable Sub
Medium whole wheat hoagie roll
2 Tbsp Roasted Eggplant Hummus (from Athenos)
3 slices tomato
½ cup arugula greens
3 ounces oven roasted turkey breast
3 slices of yellow Summer squash
- Grill summer squash to bring out flavor from natural sugar in this delightful vegetable.
- If desired, lightly spray inside of hoagie roll with canola oil and grill to toast.
- Create sandwich by first spreading hummus on both sides of roll.
- Pile on tomato, arugula, squash, and turkey.